The word budget is not often used in my house. But this year, I have dragged it out, dusted off the cobwebs and thrown it into good use for Christmas.
Early-November and I thought that I had Christmas all sorted. Presents purchased early. Christmas menu budgeted and planned. No impulsive, shopping centre splurges. No splurges at all.
Each year, the first weekend of December, I mail out sixty Christmas cards. The cards are sent to family, both here and overseas. Sixty cards can be expensive – so this year I was certain that the budget was not going to stretch to include them. Cutting out another expense worked perfectly. I almost felt smug, knowing I wasn’t going to send them out.
Two weeks had passed and I remembered that the same time last year, my Christmas cards had been designed, ordered and had even arrived. Nostalgia started to settle in. This would be the first time in ten years that I wasn’t sending out Christmas cards. I was starting to question if I had made the right decision. My head was happy. But my gut was not.
Then I remembered receiving a Christmas card from one of my first cousins, who I do not speak to all year, not even on social media. She lives overseas and has a house full of daughters. My two boys don’t even know their names. Yet, she always sends me a Christmas card.
Last year, her card was the last to arrive, almost at the end of January. I remembered her hand written words. They played havoc on my mind. She wrote that she waits all year to receive my Christmas card. She waits all year to read my beautiful words and see my gorgeous boys. To see how much they have grown in a year and to remember that even though we are so far away, Christmas still brings us together.
With the hot tears of that memory running down my face, I grabbed my camera, grabbed a Santa hat and a set of Reindeer ears. My boys gave me their best Christmas smiles. Snap! Our Christmas card photo had been taken. As fate would have it, I woke the next morning to a discount code for snapfish and within minutes, my Christmas cards were designed, ordered and on their way.
Some Christmas memories are worth budgeting for.
Do you send out Christmas cards?